Last Sunday saw a strong field of seasoned veterans, exuberant youth and first-time triathletes take to the starting line at the Kamay Botany Bay National Park for Race #2 of the Sydney Sprints. Conditions mirrored those of the last Kurnell and made for fast racing – overcast, but not cold, and you couldn’t feel a breath of wind. With a competitive male open wave and age group fields of up to 70 athletes racing for State Championship titles, spectators were treated to an exhilarating morning.
The first competitors dove into the water just after 7am as a beautiful Autumn morning in Kurnell continued. Only 11 minutes and 28 seconds later, Quentin Schneider exited the water in front, with Sam Douglas hot on his heels. In the Women’s race, it was youngster Sunny Starr-Carusi with a solid lead after the first leg, followed in by Mel Cleary, Sarah Brown and Sarah Dick.
Out onto the bike course, was only one person taking a stranglehold of the race – Kurnell Triathlon regular and Sydney Triathlon Group head coach Sam Douglas. By the time he completed the 20km cycle and began the 3-lap run course through the National Park, he was ahead of the next athlete in, Alex Reithmeir, by a staggering 4 and a half minutes. Meanwhile, the Women’s race was tightening up, with Nicole Ward taking the overall lead after cycling the fastest split of the day, with Sunny just behind.
It wasn’t long before Sam was on his victory lap, and with the gap he accrued on the rest of the field, it was almost a surety that he would cross the line in first. Douglas was the only athlete to break the hour on the day, coming in at 59.41, followed by Quentin Schneider, who had ran his way back into second, at 1:03.17 and Alex Reithmeier rounding out the top three with a time of 1:03.45.
In the Women’s race, Nicole was able to hold her lead with the fastest run split of the day (22.08), finishing in a time of 1:13.13. Sunny Starr-Carusi took line honours (caused by differing wave start times) and gold in the 14-15 age category finishing with a time of 1:14.48, with Jenny Henville taking third in 1:17.17.
The Super Sprint overall winners were:
1. Thomas Hine (34.06)
2. Thomas Hamilton (34.38)
3. Ryan Lange (40.11)
1. Lucy Cliff (35.09)
2. Jacinta Cliff (35.24)
3. Maddie Huyskens (36.39)
As the bulk of the field made their way onto the run course, the sun peaked its way through the clouds and made for a beautiful post-race morning. Huge thanks go to the amazing team of volunteers who assisted on the day – beyondblue, Cronulla Tri Club, the Technical Officials and all the individuals who gave up their time on a Sunday morning to make the race possible.
Congratulations to all the new State Champions! We’ll see you back in Kurnell next season.